Smartphone-itus

Children using smartphones, standing in a row

Several years ago, when my office gave me a Blackberry, I quickly became addicted. So addicted, that my family and friends referred to it as my “Crackberry.” Now, everyone it seems, has some kind of smartphone, and the unnatural attachment to them is causing more than just annoyance.

This week, New York magazine did a feature story on the medical and physiological issues associated with gadget over use. Here are a few of the phone woes to watch for:

Nomophobia:
An acronym for “no mobile phone phobia,” this ailment affects about 66% of the population. Similar to other types of separation anxiety, the user suffers when away from their phone for even a few minutes. Symptoms include sweating, nausea and trembling.

Laptop Thigh and Scrotal Hyperthermia:

After prolonged use, the laptops lower casing can reach up to 125 degrees. Use of said hot laptop on bare legs can result in burns and discolored skin.

This intense heat can increase the temperature of the scrotum more than 6 degrees in one hour, resulting in lowering, or even halting sperm production.

Texting Thumb:

Tendentious of the thumbs is becoming more common, due the extra work they are doing while sending texts.

iPosture:

An astounding 84% of all 18-24 year olds report some kind of neck or back discomfort. The hunched position that we all assume when fiddling with our iphones is contributing to aches, pains and overall bad posture.

To avoid some of these problems, take precautions throughout the day.

Place a towel on your lap to prevent the heat from the laptop from penetrating through to your skin, and your “lap.”

Take a few minutes throughout the day to stretch, doing neck rolls and shoulder stretches to alleviate the stiffness. Move your thumbs across the palm of your hands to stretch them out, and squeeze a small ball to build up grip strength.

Or, better yet, just simply step away from the gadgets. Just try it. We KNOW you can do it!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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